Thursday, November 3, 2011

St. Martin de Porres

My friend, Dr. Frank, a friend of the Missionaries of Charity, went home to God a few years ago. Dr. Frank had a deep devotion to St. Martin de Porres. With Church permission, he was able to visit and enter the saint's home in Peru. For years, the small mission Church of St. Augustine in Newark, New Jersey displayed a beautiful statue of St. Martin. As time went by, the statue was relegated to the back of the church, practically hidden from view. The Missionaries of Charity, who have a mission beside the church, asked for permission to take the statue out of the church and display it in their soup kitchen - and there is stands today. Dr. Frank would be very happy. God bless you Dr. Frank...

St. Martin de Porres was born at Lima, Peru, in 1579. His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother a coloured freed-woman from Panama. At fifteen, he became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary at Lima and spent his whole life there-as a barber, farm laborer, almoner, and infirmarian among other things.

Martin had a great desire to go off to some foreign mission and thus earn the palm of martyrdom. However, since this was not possible, he made a martyr out of his body, devoting himself to ceaseless and severe penances. In turn, God endowed him with many graces and wondrous gifts, such as, aerial flights and bilocation.

St. Martin's love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and to animals, including vermin, and he maintained a cats and dogs hospital at his sister's house. He also possessed spiritual wisdom, demonstrated in his solving his sister's marriage problems, raising a dowry for his niece inside of three day's time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and for bishops. A close friend of St. Rose of Lima, this saintly man died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1962. His feast day is November 3.

To you Saint Martin de Porres we prayerfully lift up our hearts filled with serene confidence and devotion. Mindful of your unbounded and helpful charity to all levels of society and also of your meekness and humility of heart, we offer our petitions to you. Pour out upon our families the precious gifts of your solicitous and generous intercession; show to the people of every race and every color the paths of unity and of justice; implore from our Father in heaven the coming of his kingdom, so that through mutual benevolence in God men may increase the fruits of grace and merit the rewards of eternal life. Amen.

* Read more about St. Martin HERE

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